Our Views: Putting an end to county corruption

5
1854

Nassau County Republicans seized on the arrest of Democratic county Legislator Carrie Solages on domestic violence charges two weeks ago, hoping to blunt a campaign by Democrats running for county office focused on GOP corruption.

A week later, The GOP’s uplifting message that corruption in Nassau County was a bipartisan effort suffered a setback when seven people were hauled into court in handcuffs for what the Nassau County district attorney called a “shocking and interconnected web of public corruption” in the Republican-dominated Town of Oyster Bay.

Included were three former Republican town officials led by former Town Supervisor John Venditto, a GOP political leader, a current town employee, the owner of a major town contractor and his wife.

A grand jury also indicted Frederick Ippolito — a former Town of Oyster Bay planning commissioner who was allegedly the mastermind of the schemes.

Ippolito, who pleaded guilty to federal tax charges last year, died in prison last month.

For those keeping score at home, that brings to seven the number of current or former Republican government officials in Nassau County charged with crimes in the past two years.

The other three include Dean Skelos, the former majority leader of the New York State Senate, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Town of Hempstead Councilman Edward Ambrosino.

Not included in the count are the GOP political leaders, their friends, supporters and family members.

This is not to say that Nassau Republicans are alone in their alleged misbehavior.

Gerard Terry, the former Town of North Hempstead Democratic Party chairman, has been indicted by both New York State and the federal government for tax fraud and failing to file his income taxes — all while holding six government jobs that included working as the attorney for the Town of North Hempstead’s Board of Zoning Appeals and a special counsel in the town attorney’s office. And former Nassau Legislator David Denenberg was sentenced to 90 days in 2015 for bilking a law firm client out of $2.3 million.

But it is clear that at least for the moment the Republicans have established a clear lead in the alleged corruption business, political or otherwise.

This, in part, reflects the party’s dominance in the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay and in Nassau County government.

As Lord Acton is frequently quoted as saying: “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

The question is what can Nassau County taxpayers do to curtail the political corruption?

The first place to start is to educate voters how political corruption affects them.

A poll conducted in May ranked political corruption third among their concerns and taxes first.

But this seems to miss an important point. Part of the reason for taxpayers’ high taxes is political corruption.

“The victims here are the honest taxpayers who work hard and play by the rules to live in the beautiful Town of Oyster Bay,” District Attorney Madeline Singas said after the indictments were unsealed against the Town of Oyster Bay officials.

Just as retail stores must raise their prices to offset losses from shoplifters, governments must raise taxes to pay for corrupt officials.

The second place to look is what police and crime shows often refer to as motive and opportunity.

The motive part is easy — money.

The opportunity is not much harder — lax supervision of government money.

Both Republican and Democratic candidates for county office are offering a variety of remedies for addressing political corruption in Nassau County this year — some good, some just window dressing.

But an easy way to judge the seriousness of a candidate’s commitment to curtailing political corruption in Nassau County is whether they support the appointment of an independent inspector general to oversee all county contracts.

Democrats, including Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, have called for an inspector general since Skelos and his son, Adam, were convicted last year of using political influence to secure a $12 million Nassau County contract for a company for which Adam Skelos worked.

County Republicans have resisted the proposal, passing several lesser measures that ultimately leaves oversight and the power to hire and fire in the hands of the county executive.

We have seen this movie before. And keep in mind that even though he faces a federal trial in 2018, Mangano has not ruled out running for re-election.

An independent inspector general could also pave the way for a reform that could save taxpayers real money — centralizing the purchasing of governments at all levels in Nassau County for greater buying power.

At the moment, no one of sound mind would endorse the county serving as the purchasing agent for towns, villages, school districts, special districts and other fiefdoms.

But that could change with an independent inspector general — and an engaged public.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Laura Curran’s first priority should be directed at ‘Boss’ Ed- sticky-fingers -Managano’s politically engineered health-care crisis at the jail that put NUMC’s Tragic-Care back in charge of inmates medical. Before Armor Correctional Health, there was NUMC’s Tragic-Care costing lives at NCCC. Nassau County knew about Armors numerous (pending lawsuits before hiring Armor. Nassau County [also] knows about the numerous lawsuits against NUMC. Nassau County’s (federally indicted) leader Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano has managed, with the aid of his crony appointed Sheriff, Michael J.Spasato, has bamboozled Nassau County tax-payers taking the county backwards to the future with his enterprise corrupt agenda that puts lives at the jail in peril_inmates be damed! ‘Boss’ Mangano’s continuing criminal enterprise scheme, while under federal indictment for racketeering and bribery charges, has not stopped him from defrauding his constituents in Nassau County. Laura Curran’s first duty would be to recognize and expose Ed-sticky-fingers -Mangano’s regime that’s operating out of the Sheriff’s Department. NUMC’s medical; directors, Mangano’s crony appointed cohorts, have conspired to hide the truth about Darryl Woody’s (supposed suicide death on January 3, 2011, while “still” on 1to1 Suicide Supervision at NUMC. The Medical Center blames the NCCC. The jail blame NUMC. Both conspire to ‘Hide The Truth by denying access to the Video Surveillance Camera Files that depicts the true cause of Darryl Woody’s death by asphyxiation at NUMC_while ‘still’ on Suicide-Watch! Nassau County racketeering ‘Boss’ Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano and his operatives at the jail, NUMC and on the Jails Advisory Board, along with Internal Affairs at the jail and the Homicide Division, have colluded to violate Darryl Woody’s Human And Civil Rights by obstructing justice in his death investigation by tampering with government protected (electronic0 files that depicts Darryl Woody’s True cause of death_asphyxiation, while “still” on 1to1 Suicide-Watch at NUMC. What’s NUMC, NCCC, Nassau County’s Executive Administration led by aAdministration ‘mobster’ have to hide? “We Can Handle The Truth!” Release The Video(s)!” “Now!” So Laura Curran’s litmus test should first be: Where does she stand on body-worn Video Cams for police officers that includes policies of transparency and [full] accountability. Then ask Laura Curran “What About Darryl Woody!” His death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and at NCCC(!) Then ask that she [in person] file a FOIL Request for the public files. Index: 017721/2011. This is a “Major Scandal that’s being perpetrated against an innocent mentally-ill pre-trial detainee who was, like Thomas Pizzuto (1999), was attacked, brutalized, beaten and tortured with pepper gas (repeatedly) for seventeen hours, before being transported to NUMC. Days later Darryl Woody Would be “Found” Hanging in his room by jail guards that was [suppose to be sitting out-side his door at all times because of his history and an incident at NCCC. Darryl Was denied his medications and proper medical care at the jail and at NUMC. All caught on Video Surveillance Cameras! Prisoners Have Civil Rights Too. From Thomas Pizzto To Bartholomew Ryan… “What About Darryl Woody!” Index: 017721/2011. Trial Date: 9/11/2017 At the (corrupt) Supreme Courts in Mineola. Yes! This Is An Emergency!!!

  2. Carrie Solages has the “Right” to be treated fairly! He also has the “Right” to defend himself in a fair trial by a fair and un-bias jury. He has the “Right” to be free from Cruel and Un-usual Punishment if he’s convicted on [domestic violence] charges. None of these protections were given to Darryl Woody who was arrested on (falsified) domestic violence charges on Dec. 24th [Christmas Eve] 2010. Carrie Solages, unlike Darryl Woody, was treated ‘Civil’ when he was arrested. Darryl Woody was abused, beaten and denied medical attention for the injuries he sustained while being interrogated by Williston Park detectives trying to force him to sign a false statement incriminating himself. Darryl Woody was taken to NCCC where it was reported that Darryl Woody attempted suicide at the police station. This in an effort to justify Darryl’s head injuries. He was placed on 1to1 Suicide Supervision and segregated from the general jail population. Then on Dec.24, 2010 Darryl Woody was begging for his medications and medical treatment when he was attacked, brutalized and then tortured by seven jail guards that responded to Darryl Woody’s (supposed) attempted suicide_while on 1to1 Suicide Supervision and held in a suicide prevention cell. Darryl was (supposedly) allowed to remove part of a smoke detector to use to slash his wrist and neck in an effort to get his [prescribed] medications and medical treatment for the head injuries that interrogating detectives described as “banging his head against a cement wall.” Darryl was taken to the medical unit at NCCC where he was hidden away for seventeen hours and [repeatedly] tortured by pepper gas by correctional guards at the jail. He was pepper gassed on four separate incidents and treated four times for burns that he received from the excessive force and abuse. Darryl words were “I did this to get my medications. I told them when I came in that I needed my medications and they wouldn’t give them to me.” [I’m sorry] but I need them. Days later while ‘still’ on 1to1 Suicide Supervision, and ‘still’ awaiting a bed in the psychiatric ward at NUMC, Darryl Woody was (supposedly) “Found” hanging by a sheet in the mental observation ward by jail guard that were suppose to be watching him on 1to1 Suicide Supervision (suicide-watch). His death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and NCCC. These government protected files have been denied to us by NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County (corrupt) Supreme Court Justices. NUMC blames the jail. NCCC blames the Medical Center. Both conspire to obstruct justice by hiding the Video(s) that depicts Darryl Woody’s neglect, abuse, torture, deliberate indifference, and the ‘true cause’ of Darryl Woody’s death, while ‘still’ on [1to1] Suicide Supervision and under doctors care at NUMC. Mr. Carrie Solages was elected to the legislature that voted to approve the installation of the Video Surveillance Cameras ordered by federal authorities and Nassau County’s DA’s Office in response to the [1999] beating (stomping) death of inmate Thomas Pizzuto for begging for ‘his’ prescribed medications. Five jail guards were convicted for Pizzuto’s death. Thomas Pizzuto’s death forced Nassau County’s (former) top Executive Thomas Gullota to install Cameras at NCCC and in the medical areas at NUMC. Darryl Woody, on the other hand, was denied this investigative tool that was suppose to protect the safety and security of correctional-staff and inmates. The Video Cameras were supposedly installed to protect the integrity of investigations into excessive force abuse claims by inmates against abusive (killer) jail guards at NCCC. Legislator Carrie Solages should show due diligence in this Matter Of Darryl Woody since he too was arrested for the same charge in Nassau County. Carrie Solages is innocent until proven guilty. “What About Darryl Woody!” His death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and NCCC. Cameras approved by the legislature! Unfortunately, Darryl Woody wasn’t entitled to the same Constitutional Protections that Carrie Solages was given. Carrie Solages got released on his own recognizance; Darryl Woody got death and depravation of his Civil Rights to a fair trial that considers all the evidence and facts. Legislator Carrie Solages is in a unique position facing domestic violence charges. His position on the legislature is to uphold his ethical duties to the public and to Darryl Woody. All Carrie Solages has to do is ask “What About Darryl Woody!” to start the inquiry into the denied Video Surveillance Recordings of Darryl Woody’s death. He too may have been a victim of the corrupt judicial system that hides the truth! ‘What Does NUMC, NCCC, and Nassau County’s government administration (led by his ‘Boss’ (federally indicted) Ed- sticky-fingers -Mangano) Have To Hide? “We Can Handle The Truth!” Yes. Solages has the Right to be silent but his elected position in government requires that he speak out against fraud, corruption, and criminal actions that Nassau County tax-payers pay for in jury awards.

  3. Stop The Press! Norma Gonslves has conspired with NCCC and NUMC to violate Darryl Woody’s Civill Rights to Due Process. Norma Gonsalves as a presiding member of the Jails Advisory Board that oversees NCCC in 2011 failed to hold NCCC and NUMC accountable or transparent in the January 3, 2011 death of Darryl Woody. Darryl Woody’s death on January 3, 2011, while on 1to1 Suicide Supervision at NUMC’s Secure prison Wing for prisoners at the jail, is a homicide covered-up to look like a [Suicide by hanging], Darryl Woody’s death was death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras at NUMC and at NCCC. Nassau County is hiding the truth about Darryl Woody’s death by asphyxiation. Nassau County’s (federally indicted ) Executive Ed- Sticky-fingers -Mangano and his crony appointed cohorts at the jail and the Medical Center have colluded to obstruct justice by denying access to theses government protected (electronic) Files that depicts Darryl’s death_a homicide! Darryl Woody, like Thomas Pizzuto (1999) was begging for his (prescribed) medications at NCCC when he was attacked, brutalized, beaten and then [repeatedly] tortured by pepper gas by seven jail guards at NCCC, following a [reported] suicide attempt. Darryl, while on 1to1 Suicide watch was said to have removed his Suicide Prevention Gown, then climbed to the ceiling( in his suicide prevention cell), dismantle a smoke detector to use to slash his wrists and neck, in a attempt to get his denied medications. After his violent cell extraction, Darryl could be heard screaming…’Newsday Reports…’

    “I told them when I came in I needed my medication, and they didn’t give it to me!” he cried out, his voice echoing through the cell block as he was taken to a shower for decontamination. “I did this to get my meds, I’m sorry, but I need them!”

    Ten days later on Jan. 3—Woody hanged himself with a bed sheet anchored to medical equipment while on suicide watch at the now-defunct prison ward in neighboring Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Darryl Woody death was caught on Video Surveillance Cameras that Norma Gonsalves Committee had to vote the approval the tax-payer purchase costing Nassau residents in excess of $2 million dollars. Thomas Gullota was ordered by federal authority and the DA’s Office to implement and install Cameras at NCCC and all medical locations following the beating (stomping death of Thomas Pizzuto. Norma and her legislative co-defendants and fellow conspires are [All] guilty of omission. How did NC’s Homicide Squad,along with all the independent law enforcement agencies investigating Darryl’s suspicious death, {fail to review the Video Surveillance files? This is a “Major Scandal” Norma Gonsalves is corrupt! What’s NUMC, NCCC, Nassau County’s Executive Administration have to hide? “We Can Handle The Truth!” “Release the Video(s)!” “Now!” Trial date September 11, 2017 at the (corrupt) Supreme C

  4. Before Armor-Health’s Disaster-Care, there was NUMC’s Tragic-Care causing deaths at NCCC.
    Nassau County knew about Armor Healths numerous (pending) lawsuit before Nassau County hired Armor. Well Nassau County knows about NUMC’s several (pending) lawsuits also. Now ‘Boss’ Ed- sticky-fingers Mangano gives his crony appoint ted cohorts at NUMC a “Clean Bill Of Health(!)” A Systemic Culture of Enterprise Corruption. Mangano’s Continuing Criminal Enterprise Corruption Scheme is being carried-out while Mangano is being investigated for Ricco Violations_including bribery! The Lawmakers in Nassau County are all in breach of duty for failing to report son NUMC’s malpractices and the cover-up of abuses that led to inmates dying at NCCC. NUMC: Nassau, Under-staffed, Malpractice, Center can’t be trusted on transparency and accountability when it comes living up to the the standards of proper medical delivery to inmates at at the jail. NUMC is the wrong choice! Nassau County lawmakers have collude with NUMC efforts to defraud the public for medical care that is estimated to be three times the cost of medical care afforded by neighboring county jails.   Mangano’s politically engineered health-care crisis at NCCC has come at a high price. How many more prisoner, that can’t afford bail, must die while the legislature hides behind tax-payer paid attorneys and the bueracracies that leave questions un-answered and reform all but impossible. NUMC shall be made to live up to it’s promises to deliver proper and life saving medical treatment. This includes NYSCOC policies on prison/jail healthcare recommendations and protocols. If NUMC can’t be trusted to comply with state and federal policies governing penal institutions in accordance with correctional law, the Medical Center should be barred from future medical care contracts that pertains to NCCC inmates. Armor Correctional health was sued by the Attorney General, NUMC should be held to the same degree when it comes to defrauding the public for medical services not delivered in accords with DOC standards.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here